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Queen's University IRC

Labour Relations

Queen's University in Kingston, ON

Training Employees is Key to Effective Union-Management Relationships

For practitioners in Queen's University's Human Resources (HR) department, the past two years have brought about a number of changes in the way they do their jobs. Two years ago, there were four union contracts at the University, and today, the tenth contract is being negotiated. With about 80% of the University's employees now unionized, Al Orth, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Resources) at Queen's University, says the environment has changed significantly.
 

Managing Mental Health in the Workplace

Managing Mental Health in the Workplace

Understanding and complying with the employer's legal duty to accommodate disabled employees is one of the biggest challenges facing labour relations professionals today. This is particularly so in the case of mental health issues. The statistics are telling. It has been reported that one in six Canadians will suffer from mental illness at one point in their lives and that one out of every four to five employees is affected by mental health issues every year.

School Administrators’ Perspectives on Labour Relations: Survey Results and Analysis

This report is based on a survey of school administrators in two regions of Ontario. It probes several areas, such as administrators' perspectives on the labour relations environment, the relationships between administrators and staff, the role of administrators in conflict management and dispute resolution, and the potential effectiveness of labour relations-focused professional development for school administrators and other education sector stakeholders.

Executive Summary

An Inquiry Into the State of Labour Relations in Canada: Executive Summary

In November 2011, the IRC launched a 37-question survey, "An Inquiry into the State of LR in Canada." The purpose of this survey was to describe the state of the labour relations (LR) profession in Canada, based on the perspectives of practitioners. This Executive Summary presents an overview of the aggregated survey data. This practitioner-focused research complements our 2011 exploration of the state of the human resources profession in Canada, and builds on the IRC’s 2009 labour relations survey.

Brendan Sweeney, Queen's IRC Post-Doctoral Fellow

Education Labour Relations In Ontario

The labour relations environment in Ontario's education sector is both fascinating and dynamic. The late 1970s and 1980s marked a period of relative stability. Conversely, the 1990s were marked by turnover in provincial government, legislatives changes, new policy initiatives, and labour disputes.

Ontario 2020 Delphi forecast

Ontario experts pessimistic about the future: Ontario 2020 Delphi forecast

Last year, OPSEU brought together business, labour, government, and community agencies for an in-depth exploration of the possible futures for Ontario with Ontario 2020. The Ontario 2020 Delphi forecast has now been released, which shows that experts are concerned and pessimistic about the future of the province. Queen's IRC Director Paul Juniper was a member of the steering committee for the Ontario 2020 project, which included a two-day conference in Toronto.
 

Holistic Surgery for the Infected Workplace

The Peer Circle: Holistic Surgery for the Infected Workplace

Jean passed the talking piece to Kimberly. You could see her shoulders straighten, a deep intake of breath, a glance around the circle of her assembled colleagues. She was steeling herself to say what was difficult but necessary. Kimberly explained that, for her, the constant putting down of customers and negativity around workplace conditions was unacceptable and made it difficult to enjoy and take pride in her work.

Cultivating Effective Management-Union Relationships in the Unionized Workplace

Cultivating Effective Management-Union Relationships in the Unionized Workplace

In almost all organizations today, both public and private sector, managers are looking to deliver better results and greater productivity. And within these same organizations, the union is often seen as a barrier to management effectively achieving these goals. From the union's point of view, management views the collective agreement as an impediment to achieving results, leading to frequent violations of the collective agreement.

Developing a Competency Framework for Labour Relations Professionals

The purpose of this Queen’s Industrial Relations Centre (IRC) research initiative was to identify and categorize competencies required by a successful Labour Relations Professional (LRP). A review of the literature and an analysis of the IRC’s labour relations programming, led to the development of a survey for experienced labour relations practitioners. The IRC conducted the …

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Labour Arbitration and Conflict Resolution: Back to Our Roots

The 2010 Don Wood Lecture was delivered by The Honourable Warren K. Winkler, Chief Justice of Ontario. The Chief Justice’s lecture presented a synopsis of changes in the labour relations field. The Chief Justice spoke about the “Golden Era” of labour arbitration (1944-1967), and drawing on his experiences and observations, commented on changes in the …

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Getting Along With the Union

How can human resources professionals bargain and build meaningful relationships with the union during tough economic times? In her recent presentation at Queen’s IRC’s Labour Relations Foundations program, Ontario Nurses’ Association President Linda Haslam-Stroud provided sound advice for signing off on successful collective agreements. In the following excerpts from her talk, Linda shares her top …

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The Rise of Conglomerate Unions: Less Than Meets the Eye?

Trade union mergers in Europe and North America have been going strong since the Second World. It is almost always a question of survival: mergers or absorptions are thought to help unions maintain or grow membership to sustain their financial base and increase bargaining power. While in the past mergers occurred among unions in the …

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Recession-Era Labour Relations: Pocket Book Thriller or Stephen King Trilogy?

The economic upheaval currently gripping world economies will profoundly alter the dynamics of labour relations in Ontario, says a senior official in Ontario’s Ministry of Labour. In a presentation in late March to Queen’s School of Policy Studies, Kevin Wilson, Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Labour’s Policy, Program Development, and Dispute Resolution Services …

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Accommodating Disability in the wake of Keays v. Honda Canada

Employers may be relieved now that the Supreme Court of Canada has reversed steep punitive damages in a high-profile wrongful dismissal case involving a disabled worker. But accommodating the needs of employees who have disabilities – in particular depression – is not getting any easier, says Queen’s IRC Facilitator Anthony Griffin. Griffin is counsel for …

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Whither Unionism: Current State and Future Prospects of Union Renewal in Canada

Trends and pattern of union membership and density as well as organizing activity are clear signs of stagnation and complacency in the labour movement. While some unions are doing better than others, the labour movement as a whole appears to be at standstill. It is also evident that there does not appear to be any …

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New Labour Law Rule: Think Global, Act Local

In a case that pitted B.C. health unions against contentious labour legislation, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled last fall that collective bargaining is protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The decision significantly changes the lives of many Canadian labour law practitioners and policy-makers, says Kevin Banks, assistant professor in Queen’s University Faculty …

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